The Blue Mountains World Heritage Area boasts a million hectares of stunning natural scenery. Packed full of mountains, canyons, waterfalls and forests, this wild and spectacular wilderness area is perfect for exploring.
Not only is it absolutely stunning, but it is also a culturally significant area. Long before Europeans arrived, the area was inhabited by the Gundungurra people and the Darug people. You can learn more about these people when you arrange tours to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, during which you can find out about their culture and their extensive knowledge of the natural world.
There are a few places in particular where you can find out more about the cultural heritage of the Blue Mountains, so keep the following places in mind when you head to the region:
The Legend of the Three Sisters
The Blue Mountains area is rich in legends, and probably the most famous of all the legends is that of the Three Sisters. These incredible sandstone peaks are a highlight in the Blue Mountains. Located in the Jamison Valley, each is over 900 metres tall and you should definitely try and visit them during your time here.
The legend comes from the Katoomba tribe, and tells how three sisters, Wimlah, Gunnedoo and Meehni, fell in love with three brothers from the Napean tribe. They were not allowed to marry them, however, so the brothers started a war. The Katoomba tribe witch doctor turned the sisters into stone in order to protect them temporarily, but the witch doctor died in the battle and the sisters were left in the form of the stone peaks for eternity.
Red Hands Cave
Another important site to visit is Red Hands Cave near to Glenbrook. Here you will be able to see ancient Aboriginal prints and stencils made between 500 and 1600 years ago. Looking upon the paintings is a very powerful experience that will quite literally take you back in time.
The hand stencils are made from a mixture of ochre and water. The artists placed their hands on the wall and blew the mixture over them, forming the stencils, which have survived the test of time.
Kings Tableland Aboriginal Site
You may also want to visit this important aboriginal site to find out more about the cultural history of the people who used to live here. At this site you will be able to see many grooves cut into the rocks where stone tools were sharpened against them. There are also depictions of bird and kangaroo tracks carved into the rocks. The site is thought to date back as far as 22,000 years, making it the oldest site in the region, and it is still considered an important site for the Gundungurra people.
Visit this Special Area
The Blue Mountains not only offer visitors spectacular scenery, but they also provide a rich cultural history. Try to visit the above sites during your time here, and find out more about the legends and lore of this special region in Australia.